In the summer of 2010 I flew out to California for the first time and attended San Diego Comic Con with my friends from Geekscape.net. At the end of the week I sat in the car as Jonathan London drove us back to Los Angeles. He only had two CDs for us to listen to in the car, one was Steel Train ‘s self titled album and the other was The Leftovers: Eager to Please.
Instantly upon hearing this I fell in love, although at first I thought it was the Dickies. The best way to describe this tragically short-lived pop punk band is to imagine if the Elvis Costello sang for the Ramones. Lead Vocalist and Bassist Kurt Baker has his own unique style of songwriting and singing, however the unique is more retro than anything else. His throw-back style fits perfectly on all 14 tracks which quickly made this album one of my favorite albums.
Songs like “Telephone Operator”, “Don’t Stop” and “Untouchable” are those kind of songs so catchy that after you hear them once, you know every word to the chorus. It’s unfair to call out just those 3 songs though because catchy hooks is a consist aspect of every track on this album.
Much like Elvis Costello and the Pop Punk groups of the 90’s he’s inspired Kurt Baker is heart-broke, confused and a hopeless romantic. At one point wishing his girlfriend wasn’t his girlfriend anymore (Girlfriend), then wanting her back (I Want You Back) and working up the courage to ask the girl of his dreams to join him on the dance floor (Dance With Me).
The album ends with an 80’s hair metal meets pop punk song “Party ‘til We Die” in which the band exclaims that they will always party until their last day on earth. This however was a promise they couldn’t keep.
The band broke up shortly after the release of this album which was a huge disappointment to me and Jonathan (of Geekscape) however Kurt’s Solo album released in 2010 continues the toe tapping perfection of Eager to Please.
If you find yourself missing the catchy hooks that used to be a standard in pop punk and a unique singing style do yourself a favor and pick up this record today. You’ll thank me for it.
When Matt Kelly isn't counting down his favorite albums he's tweeting, writing for Geekscape (this week's Guilty Pleasure is defending Insane Clown Posse) and hosting his podcast (check out this week's episode featuring guests Sean Dunne, John Stewart Muller and Nerdcore Rapper Misfit)